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Solon

The ancient city of Solon has had a checkered and dark history. It was founded in the days of the Manetho Empire. With the fall of that nation, it struggled to carve out its own empire, competing against Hallstatt, Semphar and Shou Lung. For a short time it was successful, gaining control over most of the land south of the Raurin Alta. It traded with reclusive Ra-Khati and was a principal stop for trade routes headed for Dahshur and the lands of the south.

Slowly, Solon lost its grip over these lands. The desert overwhelmed regions, rendering them uninhabited. Shou invaders cut the ties with the north. Weakness and dissipation on the part of the Solon kings allowed other areas to slip from its grasp. The process has taken several centuries. Today, Solon has been seized by a new master, the loathsome Ambuchar Devayam. Seldom seen by outsiders, his influence is still quite obvious. Reports have reached Dhaztanar and Skardu of evil rites, savage laws, and dark portents from Solon. Once already Ambuchar has led armies against Ra-Khati, forcing the Purple Dragon to fight for him. He destroyed the city of Kushk and has severed communication between Ulgarth and the lands of the north. Whereas an ordinary ruler would never ruin his land so, Ambuchar apparently has no concern for his subjects or his kingdom. Indeed, under his guidance, all that remains of the kingdom of Solon is a decaying city and a few estates around it.

If the one where to inquire further about Solon, they will hear many strange and conflicting reports. All of these involve the mysterious ruler of that land. Just who or what Ambuchar is will be unclear. According to some informants, he is a human of incredible age, who has found some method of sustaining himself. Other reports describe him as a nonhuman monster, a thing that inhabits the bodies of others and consumes them from the inside. Still more reports tell of a lich, an illusionist, a charismatic con artist, even a demigod. Equally confusing are the reports of his activities and goals. He is either digging up the city stone by stone, executing all the citizens, assembling vast armies, or transforming his people into zombies completely under his control.

His ambition in Solon is to gain enough power to conquer Ra-Khati. After Ra-Khati falls, he will use that mountain kingdom as a base for reconquering Shou Lung. Now he has become obsessed with recovering the secrets of Manetho. He spends days and weeks in secret studies, searching out their lost magical arts. He has ordered massive excavations in search of lost magical items. He has no concern for the suffering of the people and those who die are transformed into zombies, totally under his control, so that they can continue working.

Thus, the people of Solon are terrified, living in the frightening shadow of a despot more evil than, any they can imagine. They yearn for a great hero to rescue them. However, they are weak and cowardly. Their fear is so great that they would even betray their liberators, should any ever arise.